If you are injured on the job in Colorado, the most underrecognized, underperceived piece of paper you receive is the final admission of liability. A final admission of liability is used by an insurance carrier to close a workers’ compensation case. The insurance company will file a final admission of liability when the injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement.
Has an Injured Worker Received the Final Admission of Liability?
When potential clients contact our office, the number one thing we are most concerned about is whether or not the injured worker has received the final admission of liability. The video shows what final admission of liability looks like. If I were to design it, it would be in red and in big letters it would say, “You are about to get screwed. Contact an attorney.” Unfortunately, that is not what Colorado requires that injured workers be advised. In fact, all it says in the little small print, although it is in bold, is “This is a legal document listing the benefits you have or will be paid. You have a right to disagree…” etc., etc.
The Clock is Running Once the Final Admission of Liability Has Been Filed
I cannot tell you how many injured workers we have talked to who are flabbergasted, stunned, amazed and extremely upset that their claim is closed and is done. The number one response I get is, “But, I didn’t sign anything, I didn’t sign a check, I didn’t get cash the check, I got a check but I didn’t cash it,” In reality, none of those responses matter because once the document is filed and sent to the address of record, even if you have moved and have not completed a change of address form, once this is mailed, the clock is running and you have 30 days to do a number of things.
You Have to File a Written Objection if You Disagree That You Are Not Cured or at Maximum Medical Improvement
Additionally, you have to request what is called a Division Independent Medical Exam. The rules for filing this were changed last year and are incredibly complex. The rules include, but are not limited to, how you challenge the company doctor’s assessment that you no longer need medical care to get better, what body parts are or are not related, and what sort of compensation you may or may not receive for that injury.
Injured Workers Should Contact an Attorney When they Receive The Final Admission of Liability
The final admission of liability is the number one piece of paper and it sinks our hearts here at Kaplan Morrell when potential clients contact us and it has been 45, 50, even 35 days since the final admission was filed and we ask, “Why did you not contact us or any other attorney earlier?” and often times they did not even know that they received a final admission because it was in an envelope that went unnoticed. I cannot reiterate enough that this is why you need an attorney on your side involved immediately.
Kaplan Morrell Makes Sure That Your Rights Are Protected
An injured worker can speak with an attorney in Colorado, and I am not just referring to our law firm, but I am referring to all law firms in Colorado who assist injured workers. All of us offer free consultations and you do not have to pay for that. You can call, we can gather information, we can lay out what your rights, benefits and options are, and then you can make an informed decision.
Is This Something Where You Want to Have Your Rights and Options Protected?
This is something to take into consideration because not all work injuries are serious. Not all work injuries require lawyers. Not all work injuries in Colorado are going to knock you out of employment or result in any sort of permanent problems at all and that does not require a lawyer. However, if you have sustained an injury where you are losing wages, or you are done with treatment and are not back to 100 percent, you’re going to need an attorney to make sure that you get what you are entitled to. You can go to our YouTube library where we have a lot of videos on what sort of issues, benefits and pitfalls there are in workers’ compensation so that you know that this is a maze that you should not run by yourself.
Do Not Wait for a Final Admission to Contact an Attorney
The number one thing is do not wait for a final admission to contact an attorney. Call us right away and let’s see if we can help you, or at least have you get oriented to your rights and options to see if you even have a case where an attorney would be helpful for you.
Understand the Final Admission for What it is – Your Claim Will be Closed
If you receive a final admission, please understand that it is an attempt by the insurance company to say, “We paid this, we’re going to pay this and that’s it, nothing more. If it isn’t on this paper, we’re not going to pay it at all and your case will automatically close within 30 days of that unless you do it.” It is important that you understand that. It is also important that they do not require you to agree or sign off on anything. Do not be placated or put off thinking that you can still negotiate a settlement because often times the adjuster will tell you let me get back to you, but the adjuster is just waiting for that 30 days to pass for this and once that’s done, your bargaining position has collapsed because your claim is closed as to everything the insurance company has decided to give you and whatever they haven’t decided and they are no longer obligated to provide you and you will not even be able to pursue it in court. Why? Because your case is closed.
Kaplan Morrell Helps Injured and Disabled Workers Throughout Colorado
We have been helping injured and disabled workers since 1997. Three of our attorneys here have 20 years’ experience and one of our attorneys has about 18-19 years’ experience. This is what we do. We don’t do wills, divorces, criminal law, immigration, or bankruptcy. We do workers’ compensation. This means two things: 1) We are very, very good at what we do and; 2) We’re boring at cocktail parties because this is all that we do.
We Fight Hard for Our Clients
We would love to help you. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job in Colorado or they were hired in Colorado and were injured within the first six months of their employment outside of Colorado, assuming they have a travelling job, you may have a workers’ compensation claim governed by the laws of Colorado. Please give us a call at 970-356-9898. You may also visit us on our website at www.kaplanmorrell.com We would be happy and thrilled to help you. As always, the initial consultation is completely free.